When I was a novice submissive, one of the questions I got asked pretty regularly online was, "do you have any training?" Well, no I don't think I had. What was training anyhow? Where do I go to get it? What would I be learning?
Now that my novice days are behind me I don't think it was my misunderstanding, but rather theirs and possibly the fact that I was learning online. Training, as I teach it on this site, is all of the behaviors, mannerisms and activities you learn with your Dominant to please them they way they wish to be served. There is no default set of training that every submissive must have, nor are there any accredited courses to take to teach you anything that is required to be a submissive.
That's because there is no ONE type of relationship or dynamic. My relationship is very different than any of yours. I couldn't go and slip into your relationship without training because my training may not be the way you learn it. The training I have is custom to my situation and my Dominant's desires for me. Until recently I didn't even call it training.
So, what the heck is formal about training? The only thing I can see as how training can be formal is if there is a set time that you are to devote to learning new things or during structured play sessions that seem more like drills than play.
For example, your Dominant wishes you to take your punishment without words or movement but you typically are a very vocal, wiggly person during play. Training my involve structured sessions with the punishment implement as you learn to not move or make noise. After the Dominant is satisfied that you have achieved the level of control that they desire, you will be considered done with that training.
But then what if you move into another relationship and they prefer that you cry you heart out during punishment? Does that mean your training was wrong? No, but it will require re-training to get you to learn the new method expected of you.
You don't have to be in a relationship to start your training either. If you want to be a domestic, for example, you can start learning the proper cleaning techniques for sanitation and health code requirements, how to make a bed to hotel standards and take cooking and baking courses. If you want to be a personal assistant, perhaps getting a job in that field will help you learn more about being one for your future Dominant. Even if sexual submission is what you are interested, you can learn on your own. Try strip tease classes or body aerobics, burlesque dancing, practice your dirty talk when alone masturbating, read and study different sexual techniques including tantra. All of these ideas can make you a more valuable submissive once a Dominant has come into your life.
Never stop learning either. If you notice your Dominant drinks a large number of mixed drinks, learn how to make them at home and become his bartender. If he plays poker, learn to be a dealer. Study up on his favorite sports teams too so that you can provide a more interesting conversation partner. They sky is the limit as far as learning.
Do you need formal training? Sometimes that may be the only way it will work, but in most cases there is no need for structured time to learn a new behavior - it just comes with practice and education. Embrace that your life is continuously about study and practice.
Do you have any 'formal' training? What are you learning right now?